Respect for Female Herpers

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I thank the dozens of women that provided me with first-hand accounts and anecdotes of  any sexism, discrimination, or harassment they have experienced in the hobby, and for the even more that shared stories with me privately, for fear of ridicule or retribution.

Discrimination is a delicate, nuanced subject. Sometimes it's overt and aggressive, of course, but in most cases it is subtle. A tone, a gesture, a glance avoided, or a comment made in passing. Blink and you may miss it entirely. But discrimination builds over time, each new incident layering over the last until the discriminated feels the frustration build with each new insult. The Descriminator in turn may not even be conscious of how their actions are being perceived, or even that they are being received as slights at all. And when frustration meets the oblivious, tempers flare and miscommunication abounds.

What I wish to communicate today, riding on the coattails of the current state of affairs in the world, is to present that frustration calmly and clearly through the voices of several female keepers in a way can shed light on this issue and perhaps make people, both men and women, reconsider how they treat female keepers in this hobby. Yes, I said men and women because discrimination is not an exclusively male offense; all humans have a tendency to disregard women and/or hold them to different standards than they do for men, often totally unconsciously.

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